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Show 'Em the Road (Part I)

Published 1954

Southern California teenagers join the Mobilgas "Safety and Economy" competition, driving from the Los Angeles area to the Inland Empire, the desert, to Las Vegas, Nevada and Hoover Dam, then back home again. Producers and Directors: Sid Davis and Arthur L. Swerdloff.

Run time 13:13
Producer Davis (Sid) Productions
Sponsor General Petroleum Corporation
Audio/Visual Sd, C


The juvenile officer of a town explains the safety and economy competition to the police department, a two-day 663 mile route -- "starting in Lynwood and moving east to San Bernardino, then north, cutting through the mountains at Cajon Pass, to Barstow (US 91) for refueling, then out across the Joshua Tree desert to Las Vegas, Nevada. Up to the Hoover Dam, and then back home again." The ton mileage formula, used to make the competition fair, includes weighing the automobiles and pushing the cars into the gas stations.

Personalities: Ralph DePalma, famous race car driver

Excellent shots of Las Vegas, including Sands Hotel, and good night shots of neon signs in Las Vegas.

Close-ups of the faces of young men in Mobil baseball hats
Brick wall of the Lynwood City Hall, police department
Pan of uniformed officers, seated
Close up of gauge face, (a battery tester?), a distributor tester
Tire spinning on balancer, with "MOTORS" printed in red on blue fender
Sign for Public Scales
Hand adjusting old scale, ticked being placed in and punched in scale
Sign, "SUMMIT CAJON PASS", fogged in, with headlights slowly appearing as approaching cars
Cars driving in fog
Approaching the back end of a tanker with the writing "Inflammable"
Busy downtown Barstow streets and Barstow Bridge
Close-up of police officer waving traffic along, whistle in his mouth
Cars driving through the desert
Hotel signs in Joshua Tree
Road shots driving into Hoover Dam
Crowded restaurant dining
Night shots of Las Vegas neon
Desert dawn with car headlights and silhouetted figures
Young men receiving trophies
Double exposures of the faces of the boys driving with the desert scenes, powerlines, trains, and roads.

Safety Danger Lurks


Reviewer: Spuzz - - June 4, 2005
Subject: Who was the famous car driver again?
Once again, we see the curious never-heard-of-it-before driving test called the Safety Economy Run, as seen in 'On The Run'. This is actually the first film made on the subject by Mr. Davis, and you can tell the differences cleanly between each of the films. The first one was focused on 'boys' and gangs', where as 'On the Run' mentioned that everyone, including females and 'the gang' can get involved. With theat novelty item taken out, you're left with, well, the race. And despite it's heart-wrenching suspense (sarcasm) and excitement (even more sarcasm), the race.. ISN'T ALL THAT EXCITING. Funny how they race to Hoover Dam, where they (at least the narrator) gets all excited about approaching this wonder and all they do is turn around.
Make sure you don't miss the unintended homoeroticism with Mr. Ralph Depalma, race car driver, who "has thethe love for the boys as he waves the flag shirtless"
Reviewer: trafalgar - - March 28, 2004
Subject: "A simple story of boy, officer and road"
Cool little film about 50's car club kids involved in an unusual race: the best gas mileage wins. That's because it's sponsored by Mobil Gas, and various local police organizations. Understandably, this isn't the most exciting race in the world (though the narration would have you believe otherwise). Nice home-movie style footage of the route, though: LA through Barstow to Vegas, and back again. The classic Vegas strip looks great! Nice color to this film as well.
Prelinger Archives
by Unknown
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